Bev's adventures in ICT

Posts tagged ‘BETT 2010’

Ring out the old…

2010 has been a pretty good year. I survived a school inspection and our school achieved the ICT Mark. I blogged and blogged and some people actually liked it! My Twitter PLN grew to enormous proportions with everyone having something helpful and worthwhile to offer. But three events marked out my year education wise more than any of the others: BETT 2010, TMBpool and TMPembs. BETT 2010 was my first visit to BETT and it was only a flying one at that. I taught all Friday morning, jumped on a train and arrived in London just in time (well…actually a little late) for the TeachMeet. My first shock was as I entered the room: people I had never met before all waved. This is mainly because I always use a photo of myself on Twitter and had recently updated my ever changing hair colour. Still, it was a bit of a shock. Anyhoo, I met my friend and listened and watched. My only experience of a TeachMeet before this was watching one or two  online over a flash meeting but the reality was quite different and the ideas shared were amazing. In the break I managed to meet a few people I’d often chatted to a shared ideas with online: the atmosphere was friendly and supportive and I would recommend that everyone takes part in a TeeachMeet when they can – you’ll take loads away! Of course I had an additional shock at the end of the evening when Tom Barrett announced I’d be at TMTakeover the following day (later it was apparent he had the wrong Bev, but I still did it anyway).

The actual BETT exhibition was an eye opener. Huge is not the word and there are so many great people to meet and things to see (check out Ian Addison’s blog with advice for first time visitors). It needed far more time and attention than I was able to give it (something I’m rectifying this time around) but was, all in all, a really worthwhile experience – we should all go :).

The other two big events were both TeachMeets. I had decided to plan my own TeachMeet (although, really, I fell into it accidentally). What started on Twitter as a bit of fun (and then labelled TMBev) started to become a reality and TMPembs was on the cards. Obviously I needed more first hand knowledge of such events and I ended up making the trek ‘up north’ to Blackpool. A reconnaissance mission of sorts and an opportunity to have a go at presenting at an event. I had a ball and it enthused me enough to make TMPembs a reality. And what a reality it was: fabulous speakers who travelled miles to get there, a great, relaxed atmosphere and, even more surprising, over 100 people following online! Wow!

So what does 2011 bring? another visit to BETT, this time over more days and taking part in a few more great events like Collabor8 4 Change 2011TeachMeet@BETT 2011 and TMTakeover 2011 and presenting on the 2Simple software stand. I’m also looking forward to spending some time in Cardiff, where there’s going to be a TeachMeet in February, and even further ‘up north’, at the Northern Grid for Learning conference during the summer. Of course I’ve got lots of great stuff planned at school too, including taking part in  the F1 for Schools Challenge and might even get around to organising another TeachMeet. However it pans out I’m sure 2011 is oing to be a productive and busy year!

BETTcha by golly wow 2010!

Like many other technologically minded people I made the (in my case long) trek to Olympia last week to spend a bit of quality time at the BETT2010. My main objective was to get to the Teachmeet and pick up some useful and interesting tips from other like minded professionals but, I have to admit, the whole time I was there (and that wasn’t very long compared to some!) I felt on a natural high. The excitement of meeting (and trying to recognise!) people I had previously only spoken to via twitter, or educational forums, combined with the whole learning new things and seeing new products was unbelievably uplifting.

I arrived on Friday night just about in time for the Teachmeet (I did miss a little bit of the action but not much). The atmosphere was fantastic and there was a real community spirit in the room. As well as meeting, chatting and mingling with a fantastic group of people I’d never before met in person , one of the things that immediately struck me was the totally supportive nature of all that were in the room. And there were some great presentations too: some heartfelt and passionate (take a bow Mr Drew Buddie) others fun and informative (yes, Miles Berry, I mean you). If you weren’t there, you were really missing out on something special. Here’s the main things I took away from the Teachmeet…

1. If you’re in ICT (or just in education in any capacity) and not on Twitter, sign up now  : I’m not kidding, it will change the way you teach and, by following the right people, ideas will flood in thick and fast.

2. Someone else can give an old favourite a new twist and get you inspired: I was not particularly enthusiastic about Scratch (although I did use it) until Miles Berry made it look more accessible and fun filled – many thanks 🙂

3. There is so much out there, so investigate and ask others: Hadn’t tried Glogster (despite knowing about it) until Drew inspired me at Teachmeet Takeover on Saturday, and there were lots of similar presentations that showed the possibilities of things I had looked at in passing about but hadn’t tried.

4. We can achieve much more by working together: the number of collaborative projects that have sprung up in the short time I’ve been using Twitter have really changed the way I use certain resources (like Google Maps and Google Earth) with children (Tom Barrett’s Google Maps maths idea is one that instantly springs to mind).

In fact, the whole Teachmeet vibe is what got me through giving my own takeover presentation about the use of Dabbleboard in the classroom(thanks to Mark Warner for the above photo) on Saturday:  cannot believe I did it and that people stayed and listened. You can even see a video of my efforts (I’m not saying you have to here) and the other contributors to the takeover sessions.

On a personal level I had a great time hanging out with new friends and just generally discussing how we use ICT. It was great to put faces to names and realised that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. Everyone is aiming for the same goal – how to get better at doing what they do and the atmosphere was certainly conducive to such an ideal. It was also amazing to discover that some of my pupils had won a 2Simple competition (a total surprise!!) and it was a pleasure to just hang out with the enthusiastic team that work at 2Simple, who are producing such wonderful stuff at the moment You only have to read the blog regularly to see how keen I am on their products!

So there you have it: my BETT 2010 experience. See you all next time (looking forward to it already).